If It’s Not Baroque Don’t Fix It
It can be said that the Donnelly household is a Disney household. I proposed to Kira at Disneyland and we honeymooned at Walt Disney World. Much of the art on our walls is Disney themed and we take a Disney vacation every other year. Heck even our silverware has little mickey silhouettes in the handles. Still, I was not sure if I wanted Beauty and the Beast to be the first movie David and I reviewed. I worried if it was geeky enough to set the tone for what I hope is a great year of movie reviews.
I’m glad I got over that. And so was the rest of the family. Did you know Beauty and the Beast is the only hand drawn animated film to be nominated for an Oscar? More importantly Kira and I saw the movie together on a date before we were married. We couldn’t pass up this opportunity to see the movie on the big screen, 3D or no 3D. As it happened the 3D showtime worked best for our group so we got the full experience. The movie is such a classic at this point that I’m not sure the story needs reviewing, but I will say that after twenty years it still holds up. Two decades later the music by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken is still both toe-tapping and lyrical. It’s a great movie. And I can still say that after watching it many, many times on VHS when my children were younger. Following on the heels of Little Mermaid we are given a slightly stronger female lead with Belle, the inventor’s daughter. Sure in the end she gets the prince [Spoiler?], but she rejects the traditional role of the “little wife” in provincial France. And also she likes books.
Whoa…I just had an epiphany. Belle is the original Geek Girl. Think about it. She likes working with her father on inventions (steam punk), she has a magic mirror that allows her to see all over the world (internet), and chooses the socially awkward, yet interesting, Beast over Gaston (The Jock). Also, I think it is safe to say she is a big fan of anime.
But I digress.
What you really want to know is how the 3D changed my Beauty and the Beast experience. My response is, not very much. I only really noticed it in a few places during the movie. At the beginning the stained glass window was set into a balcony and it was quite obviously 3D. I was anticipating the Be Our Guest number and the ballroom scene to be amazing in 3D, but they seemed about the same. When most viewers first saw the ballroom scene in 1991 it was a piece of Disney magic using a blend of computer and hand-drawn animation.
I don’t believe the 3D added anything, but I don’t think it took anything away either. Probably the most enjoyable 3D piece came during the credits. While the credits rolled 3D sketches of what felt like storyboard images faded in and out.
One Last thing: I almost forgot (OK I did forget, but when I was looking up some information on the Googles I got reminded) there was a pretty entertaining Tangled short at the beginning of the movie. I hadn’t heard anything about it so it was a very nice surprise for me. there wasn’t any brilliant story telling in the short, but it felt like a classic pre-movie cartoon with lots of slapstick and a happy ending.